The Scottish town named as 'worst place to visit in UK' according to tourists

A Scottish Highlands town has been named as the worst destination in Scotland for a short break, according to new research.

Scotland regularly tops lists of the most beautiful places to visit in the world, however, one location that has not been so favourable is Fort William in the West Highlands. The small town is among the worst places to head for a holiday in the whole of the UK, according to Which?.

The consumer magazine asked 3,967 of its members to rate cities and towns across the UK they had visited for leisure purposes and stayed in for at least one night during the past two years. Fort William placed dead last on its list of 'small UK cities' alongside Torquay in England, with an overall score of just 58 per cent.

According to Which?, the town received ratings of two out of five for food and drink, accommodation, shopping, and 'ease of getting around'. Hotels in Fort William were also found to be among the most expensive on the list, at an average of £135 per night.

While the town the town is home to popular eateries that have been acclaimed by visitors on Tripadvisor, other restaurants have been described as "overpriced" and "abysmal".

High Street, Fort William
Travel website Scotland Off the Beaten Track even described the town centre as "ugly" -Credit:High Street, Fort William by Jim Barton, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

In terms of shopping, Fort William is centred around a High Street that features a number of local and independent shops. While popular amongst some visitors, its loud main road is a sore spot for many — with one travel publication even calling it "ugly".

Describing the town centre, Scotland Off the Beaten Track wrote: "Fort William isn’t easy on the eye. An ugly shopping arcade blights the northeast end of the High Street, while a noisy dual carriageway with an irritating lack of crossing points makes access to the underutilised esplanade and Old Fort awkward."

Fort William did fare better in terms of peace and quiet, receiving a rating of four out of five for 'lack of crowds'. The town is known as a gateway to Ben Nevis, while there are also a wealth of scenic walking and hiking trails to explore.

Elsewhere in Scotland, Aberdeen was also named among the worst destinations for a staycation with an overall satisfaction score of 60 per cent. The lowest-ranking major Scottish city on the list, it was given two stars for its food and drink, cultural sights, and shopping.

The streets of the Scottish city of Aberdeen, known as the Granite City
Aberdeen received scores of just two out of five for its food and drink, cultural sights, and shopping. -Credit:Eduardo Fonseca Arraes / Getty Images

Dundee was also not popular amongst Which? members, with a customer score of 62 per cent and ratings of two out of five for food and drink, accommodation, parking, and ease of getting around. Perth also fared poorly, with an overall score of 65 per cent and two stars for its food and drink and shopping.

On the other hand, Edinburgh was named as one of the top city break destinations in the whole of the UK. With an overall customer score of 83 per cent, the Scottish capital received five stars for its cultural sights and four stars for its food and drink, shopping, and ease of getting around.

Overall, the English cathedral city of Wells was revealed as the best destination for a short break in the UK, with a customer score of 86 per cent. Following in second is Liverpool with 84 per cent, then Edinburgh and York with 83 per cent each.

Which? commented: "Scotland did well in our survey — with Edinburgh near the top of the big cities table with 83 per cent and Glasgow not far behind on 76 per cent. St Andrews was joint second in our small cities table on 78 per cent, with Stirling on 75 per cent."

The full list of the best and worst staycation destinations in Scotland and England can be found on the Which? website.

Best small UK cities for a short break

  1. Wells

  2. Durham

  3. St Andrews

  4. Winchester

  5. Stratford Upon Avon

  6. Salisbury

  7. Stirling

  8. St Ives

  9. Ely

  10. Windsor

  11. Chichester

  12. Inverness

  13. Oban

  14. Lancaster

  15. Perth

  16. Truro

  17. Fort William

  18. Torquay

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